- Investor sentiment improved over reports of the government accepting IMF demands for the revival of the stalled $6 billion EFF
Positivity returned to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) as investor sentiment improved following reports of the government accepting International Monetary Fund (IMF) demands for the revival of the stalled $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF). The benchmark KSE-100 index ended the final session of the week up 117 points.
The index opened on a positive note to hit an intra-day high of 43,187.12 (up by 203.67 points). However, profit-taking was seen in the second part of the trading session, pushing the benchmark index to an intra-day low of 42,938.60 (down by 44.85 points).
At close on Friday, the KSE-100 ended with a gain of 117.26 points, up 0.27%, to finish at 43,100.71. On a weekly basis, the benchmark index lost 0.89%.
“The news of the government accepting demands of International Monetary Fund (IMF) helped in reviving investors confidence,” said Capital Stake in its post-market report.
Volatility has persisted in the market owing to increased political noise, as investors remain concern over the government's ability to revive the IMF programme.
On the economic front, the government, in a move to save vital foreign exchange reserves, imposed a ban on the import of 38 non-essential luxury items, which is estimated to yield $6 billion annual saving of foreign exchange reserves. This comes as foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan decreased by $145 million in the period between May 6 to May 13 to stand at $10.16 billion, with the level staying at less than 1.5 months of import cover.
Standard Capital Securities said the government’s decision was long overdue and should have been taken by the previous government to save precious foreign exchange.
“We see this measure would help local companies and especially listed companies,” it said.
On the corporate front, Pak Refinery Limited (PRL) signed an agreement with Wood Group UK Limited, appointing them as the Front End Engineering Design Contractor for Refinery Expansion & Upgrade Project.
“This project will increase the crude processing capacity from 50,000 barrels/day to 100,000 barrels/day,” read a notice.
Sector driving the benchmark index upwards included banking (30.53 points), oil and gas explorations (20.81 points) and investment banking (13.92 points).
Volume on the all-share index inched up to 189.9 million from 187.1 million a day prior. The value of shares traded contracted to Rs5.09 billion from Rs3.83 billion recorded in the previous session.
K-Electric Limited was the volume leader with 19.22 million shares, followed by Silkbank Limited with 17.01 million shares, and Pak Elektron with 16.46 million shares.
Shares of 321 companies were traded on Friday, of which 179 registered an increase, 107 recorded a fall, and 35 remained unchanged.